Americans Have Lost $145 Million to COVID-19 Scams

Weekly Newsletter | September 25, 2020 | Subscribe

COVID-19 Related Fraud

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CNBC: Americans have lost $145 million to scams linked to Covid-19 According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans have lost $145 million to fraud related to COVID-19. The FTC also reported that since the beginning of the year, consumers have filed more than 205,000 reports of fraud linked to the COVID pandemic. The average loss was $300 but for seniors, averaging around 80 years old, was $655 despite being victimized less frequently.

Shore News Network: Texas Man Charged in Miami Federal Court with Using False Payroll Documents to Obtain $1.2 Million in Covid Relief A Texas resident was charged in the Southern District of Florida with federal bank fraud and making false statements to a financial institution. Leonard Ohaebosim allegedly lied about his movie company’s payroll expenses and obtained $1.2 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds.

Dept. of Justice: RI Man Charged with Fraudulently Seeking $4.7 Million in Covid-19 Stimulus Loans A Rhode Island man who is currently on federal supervised release after previously being sentenced for robbing four banks, is now facing charges after allegedly filing fraudulent loan applications seeking more than $4.7 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). He applied for and received nearly $600,000 in PPP loans to pay employees for Fall River, MA, businesses, none of which are incorporated with the Massachusetts Secretary of State, or for which investigators could locate any tax or bank records. It is alleged that he filed a PPP loan application in his name, and caused applications to be filed in the name of his father and his girlfriend’s brother. N.J. businesses fined for price gouging during coronavirus pandemic and lying about antibody tests A dozen New Jersey businesses have been fined by state authorities after being caught for a variety of unscrupulous tactics during the coronavirus pandemic. Six companies illegally raised the prices of essential items after a state of emergency was called in March, two were cited for making false claims in the sale of COVID-19 antibody tests, and four were assessed $500 in civil penalties for their alleged failure to post selling prices for merchandise such as bottled water, toilet paper and sanitizers.

Case Settlements & Opinions


Dept. of Justice: Gilead Agrees to Pay $97 Million to Resolve Alleged False Claims Act Liability for Paying Kickbacks Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Gilead) has agreed to pay $97 million to resolve claims that it violated the False Claims Act by illegally using a foundation as a conduit to pay the copays of thousands of Medicare patients taking its pulmonary arterial hypertension drug, Letairis.

Dept. of Justice: Bechtel & Aecom, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Contractors, Agree to Pay $57.75 Million to Resolve Claims of Time Charging Fraud at Doe’s Hanford Waste Treatment Plant Bechtel National Inc., Bechtel Corporation (Bechtel), AECOM Energy & Construction, Inc. (AECOM), and their subsidiary Waste Treatment Completion Company, LLC (WTCC), agreed to pay $57,750,000 to resolve claims that Bechtel and AECOM fraudulently overcharged the U.S. Department of Energy in connection with its operation of the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant project. FCA claims rose from allegations that Bechtel and AECOM management were aware of and failed to prevent inflated labor hours being charged to DOE, and for falsely billing DOE for work not actually performed.

Florida Legal: Attorney General Moody Secures Millions for Florida After Whistleblower Reported LexisNexis Kept FLHSMV Fees for Profit LexisNexis Coplogic Solutions Inc. will pay nearly $10 million to resolve allegations that the company engaged in a systematic pattern of underreporting the number of motor vehicle crash reports it sold through a contract with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles which resulted in the company underpaying FLHSMV the total amount owed in statutorily-required fees to be collected for each report sold.

Dept. of Justice: Tennessee Doctors Sentenced in $65 Million TRICARE Fraud Two doctors were sentenced for their alleged participation in a health care fraud scheme that defrauded TRICARE out of tens of millions of dollars by prescribing thousands of exorbitantly expensive compounded drugs to patients they never saw or examined.

Dept. of Justice: Grand jury indicts St. Louis County woman who made false claims to Medicaid A federal grand jury indicated a St. Louis woman on three counts of making false, fictitious or fraudulent claims. According to the indictment, between January 2014 and May 2019, she claimed to be homebound and in need of receiving home health care benefits funded by the Missouri Medicaid program.

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